Open AccessArticle
The Change of Electronic Transport Behaviors by P and B Doping in Nano-Crystalline Silicon Films with Very High Conductivities
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 233; doi:10.3390/nano6120233 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nano-crystalline Si films with high conductivities are highly desired in order to develop the new generation of nano-devices. Here, we first demonstrate that the grain boundaries played an important role in the carrier transport process in un-doped nano-crystalline Si films as revealed by
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Nano-crystalline Si films with high conductivities are highly desired in order to develop the new generation of nano-devices. Here, we first demonstrate that the grain boundaries played an important role in the carrier transport process in un-doped nano-crystalline Si films as revealed by the temperature-dependent Hall measurements. The potential barrier height can be well estimated from the experimental results, which is in good agreement with the proposed model. Then, by introducing P and B doping, it is found that the scattering of grain boundaries can be significantly suppressed and the Hall mobility is monotonously decreased with the temperature both in P- and B-doped nano-crystalline Si films, which can be attributed to the trapping of P and B dopants in the grain boundary regions to reduce the barriers. Consequently, a room temperature conductivity as high as 1.58 × 103 S/cm and 4 × 102 S/cm is achieved for the P-doped and B-doped samples, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Super-Hydrophobic/Icephobic Coatings Based on Silica Nanoparticles Modified by Self-Assembled Monolayers
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 232; doi:10.3390/nano6120232 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained from nanocomposite materials based on silica nanoparticles and self-assembled monolayers of 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (POTS) using spin coating and chemical vapor deposition methods. Scanning electron microscope images reveal the porous structure
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A super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained from nanocomposite materials based on silica nanoparticles and self-assembled monolayers of 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (POTS) using spin coating and chemical vapor deposition methods. Scanning electron microscope images reveal the porous structure of the silica nanoparticles, which can trap small-scale air pockets. An average water contact angle of 163° and bouncing off of incoming water droplets suggest that a super-hydrophobic surface has been obtained based on the silica nanoparticles and POTS coating. The monitored water droplet icing test results show that icing is significantly delayed by silica-based nano-coatings compared with bare substrates and commercial icephobic products. Ice adhesion test results show that the ice adhesion strength is reduced remarkably by silica-based nano-coatings. The bouncing phenomenon of water droplets, the icing delay performance and the lower ice adhesion strength suggest that the super-hydrophobic coatings based on a combination of silica and POTS also show icephobicity. An erosion test rig based on pressurized pneumatic water impinging impact was used to evaluate the durability of the super-hydrophobic/icephobic coatings. The results show that durable coatings have been obtained, although improvement will be needed in future work aiming for applications in aerospace. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Zirconia-Coated Nanodiamonds as a Pt Catalyst Support for Methanol Electro-Oxidation
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 234; doi:10.3390/nano6120234 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Zirconia-coated nanodiamond (ZrO2/ND) electrode material was successfully prepared by one-step isothermal hydrolyzing from ND-dispersed ZrOCl2·8H2O aqueous solution. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals that a highly conformal and uniform ZrO2 shell was deposited on NDs by this
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Zirconia-coated nanodiamond (ZrO2/ND) electrode material was successfully prepared by one-step isothermal hydrolyzing from ND-dispersed ZrOCl2·8H2O aqueous solution. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals that a highly conformal and uniform ZrO2 shell was deposited on NDs by this simple method. The coating obtained at 90 °C without further calcination was mainly composed of monoclinic nanocrystalline ZrO2 rather than common amorphous Zr(OH)4 clusters. The ZrO2/NDs and pristine ND powder were decorated with platinum (Pt) nanoparticles by electrodeposition from 5 mM chloroplatinic acid solution. The electrochemical studies indicate that Pt/ZrO2/ND catalysts have higher electrocatalytic activity and better stability for methanol oxidation than Pt/ND catalysts in acid. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Assembly of DNA Amphiphiles at Liquid Crystal-Aqueous Interface
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 229; doi:10.3390/nano6120229 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this article, we synthesized a type of DNA amphiphiles (called DNA-lipids) and systematically studied its assembly behavior at the liquid crystal (LC)—aqueous interface. It turned out that the pure DNA-lipids at various concentrations cannot trigger the optical transition of liquid crystals from
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In this article, we synthesized a type of DNA amphiphiles (called DNA-lipids) and systematically studied its assembly behavior at the liquid crystal (LC)—aqueous interface. It turned out that the pure DNA-lipids at various concentrations cannot trigger the optical transition of liquid crystals from planar anchoring to homeotropic anchoring at the liquid crystal—aqueous interface. The co-assembly of DNA-lipid and l-dilauroyl phosphatidylcholine (l-DLPC) indicated that the DLPC assembled all over the LC-aqueous interface, and DNA-lipids prefer to couple with LC in certain areas, particularly in polarized and fluorescent image, forming micron sized net-like structures. The addition of DNA complementary to DNA-lipids forming double stranded DNA-lipids caused de-assembly of DNA-lipids from LC-aqueous interface, resulting in the disappearance of net-like structures, which can be visualized through polarized microscope. The optical changes combined with DNA unique designable property and specific interaction with wide range of target molecules, the DNA-lipids decorated LC-aqueous interface would provide a new platform for biological sensing and diagnosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimum Conditions for the Fabrication of Zein/Ag Composite Nanoparticles from Ethanol/H2O Co-Solvents Using Electrospinning
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 230; doi:10.3390/nano6120230 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The optimum conditions for the fabrication of zein/Ag composite nanoparticles from ethanol/H2O cosolvents using electrospinning and the properties of the composite were investigated. The zein/Ag nanoparticles were characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and
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The optimum conditions for the fabrication of zein/Ag composite nanoparticles from ethanol/H2O cosolvents using electrospinning and the properties of the composite were investigated. The zein/Ag nanoparticles were characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis. The antibacterial activity of the zein/Ag composite nanoparticles was also investigated. The XRD patterns and TEM images indicate the coexistence of a zein matrix and well-distributed Ag nanoparticles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Temperature- and Angle-Dependent Magnetic Properties of Ni Nanotube Arrays Fabricated by Electrodeposition in Polycarbonate Templates
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 231; doi:10.3390/nano6120231 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Parallel arrays of Ni nanotubes with an external diameter of 150 nm, a wall thickness of 15 nm, and a length of 1.2 ± 0.3 µm were successfully fabricated in ion-track etched polycarbonate (PC) templates by electrochemical deposition. The morphology and crystal structure
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Parallel arrays of Ni nanotubes with an external diameter of 150 nm, a wall thickness of 15 nm, and a length of 1.2 ± 0.3 µm were successfully fabricated in ion-track etched polycarbonate (PC) templates by electrochemical deposition. The morphology and crystal structure of the nanotubes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Structural analyses indicate that Ni nanotubes have a polycrystalline structure with no preferred orientation. Angle dependent hysteresis studies at room temperature carried out by using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) demonstrate a transition of magnetization between the two different magnetization reversal modes: curling rotation for small angles and coherent rotation for large angles. Furthermore, temperature dependent magnetic analyses performed with a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer indicate that magnetization of the nanotubes follows modified Bloch’s law in the range 60–300 K, while the deviation of the experimental curve from this law below 60 K can be attributed to the finite size effects in the nanotubes. Finally, it was found that coercivity measured at different temperatures follows Kneller’s law within the premises of Stoner–Wohlfarth model for ferromagnetic nanostructures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Chemical Deposition Method for the Decoration of Palladium Particles on Carbon Nanofibers with Rapid Conductivity Changes
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 226; doi:10.3390/nano6120226 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Palladium (Pd) metal is well-known for hydrogen sensing material due to its high sensitivity and selectivity toward hydrogen, and is able to detect hydrogen at near room temperature. In this work, palladium-doped carbon nanofibers (Pd/CNFs) were successfully produced in a facile manner via
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Palladium (Pd) metal is well-known for hydrogen sensing material due to its high sensitivity and selectivity toward hydrogen, and is able to detect hydrogen at near room temperature. In this work, palladium-doped carbon nanofibers (Pd/CNFs) were successfully produced in a facile manner via electrospinning. Well-organized and uniformly distributed Pd was observed in microscopic images of the resultant nanofibers. Hydrogen causes an increment in the volume of Pd due to the ability of hydrogen atoms to occupy the octahedral interstitial positions within its face centered cubic lattice structure, resulting in the resistance transition of Pd/CNFs. The resistance variation was around 400%, and it responded rapidly within 1 min, even in 5% hydrogen atmosphere conditions at room temperature. This fibrous hybrid material platform will open a new and practical route and stimulate further researches on the development of hydrogen sensing materials with rapid response, even to low concentrations of hydrogen in an atmosphere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle-Biomolecule Interactions Influence Oral Absorption
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 225; doi:10.3390/nano6120225 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in various industrial fields, such as electronics, packaging, food, and cosmetics. Accordingly, concerns about the potential toxicity of TiO2 NPs have increased. In order to comprehend their in vivo behavior and
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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in various industrial fields, such as electronics, packaging, food, and cosmetics. Accordingly, concerns about the potential toxicity of TiO2 NPs have increased. In order to comprehend their in vivo behavior and potential toxicity, we must evaluate the interactions between TiO2 NPs and biomolecules, which can alter the physicochemical properties and the fate of NPs under physiological conditions. In the present study, in vivo solubility, oral absorption, tissue distribution, and excretion kinetics of food grade TiO2 (f-TiO2) NPs were evaluated following a single-dose oral administration to rats and were compared to those of general grade TiO2 (g-TiO2) NPs. The effect of the interactions between the TiO2 NPs and biomolecules, such as glucose and albumin, on oral absorption was also investigated, with the aim of determining the surface interactions between them. The intestinal transport pathway was also assessed using 3-dimensional culture systems. The results demonstrate that slightly higher oral absorption of f-TiO2 NPs compared to g-TiO2 NPs could be related to their intestinal transport mechanism by microfold (M) cells, however, most of the NPs were eliminated through the feces. Moreover, the biokinetics of f-TiO2 NPs was highly dependent on their interaction with biomolecules, and the dispersibility was affected by modified surface chemistry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of External Gaseous Environments on the Electrical Properties of ZnO Nanostructures Obtained by a Hydrothermal Method
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 227; doi:10.3390/nano6120227 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper deals with experimental investigations of ZnO nanostructures, consisting of a mixture of nanoparticles and nanowires, obtained by the chemical (hydrothermal) method. The influences of both oxidizing (NO2) and reducing gases (H2, NH3), as well as
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This paper deals with experimental investigations of ZnO nanostructures, consisting of a mixture of nanoparticles and nanowires, obtained by the chemical (hydrothermal) method. The influences of both oxidizing (NO2) and reducing gases (H2, NH3), as well as relative humidity (RH) on the physical and chemical properties of ZnO nanostructures were tested. Carrier gas effect on the structure interaction with gases was also tested; experiments were conducted in air and nitrogen (N2) atmospheres. The effect of investigated gases on the resistance of the ZnO nanostructures was tested over a wide range of concentrations at room temperature (RT) and at 200 °C. The impact of near- ultraviolet (UV) excitation (λ = 390 nm) at RT was also studied. These investigations indicated a high response of ZnO nanostructures to small concentrations of NO2. The structure responses to 1 ppm of NO2 amounted to about: 600% in N2/230% in air at 200 °C (in dark conditions) and 430% in N2/340% in air at RT (with UV excitation). The response of the structure to the effect of NO2 at 200 °C is more than 105 times greater than the response to NH3, and more than 106 times greater than that to H2 in the relation of 1 ppm. Thus the selectivity of the structure for NO2 is very good. What is more, the selectivity to NO2 at RT with UV excitation increases in comparison at elevated temperature. This paper presents a great potential for practical applications of ZnO nanostructures (including nanoparticles) in resistive NO2 sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Refinement of Magnetite Nanoparticles by Coating with Organic Stabilizers
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 228; doi:10.3390/nano6120228 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Magnetite nanoparticles are of great importance in nanotechnology and nanomedicine and have found manifold applications. Here, the effect of coating of magnetite nanoparticles with organic stabilizers, such as O-phosphoryl ethanolamine, glycerol phosphate, phospho-l-ascorbic acid, phospho-d,l-serine, glycolic
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Magnetite nanoparticles are of great importance in nanotechnology and nanomedicine and have found manifold applications. Here, the effect of coating of magnetite nanoparticles with organic stabilizers, such as O-phosphoryl ethanolamine, glycerol phosphate, phospho-l-ascorbic acid, phospho-d,l-serine, glycolic acid, lactic acid, d,l-malic acid, and d,l-mandelic acid was studied. Remarkably, this procedure led to an improvement of saturation magnetization in three cases rather than to an unfavorable decrease as usually observed. Detailed X-ray powder diffraction investigations revealed that changes in the average crystallite occurred in the coating process. Surprisingly, changes of the average crystallite sizes in either direction were further observed, when the exposure time to the stabilizer was increased. These results imply a new mechanism for the well-known coating of magnetite nanoparticles with stabilizers. Instead of the hitherto accepted simple anchoring of the stabilizers to the magnetite nanoparticle surfaces, a more complex recrystallization mechanism is likely, wherein partial re-dispersion of magnetite moieties from the nanoparticles and re-deposition are involved. The results can help producers and users of magnetite nanoparticles to obtain optimal results in the production of core shell magnetite nanoparticles. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nano-Biosensor for Monitoring the Neural Differentiation of Stem Cells
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 224; doi:10.3390/nano6120224 -
Abstract
In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, monitoring the status of stem cell differentiation is crucial to verify therapeutic efficacy and optimize treatment procedures. However, traditional methods, such as cell staining and sorting, are labor-intensive and may damage the cells. Therefore, the development of
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In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, monitoring the status of stem cell differentiation is crucial to verify therapeutic efficacy and optimize treatment procedures. However, traditional methods, such as cell staining and sorting, are labor-intensive and may damage the cells. Therefore, the development of noninvasive methods to monitor the differentiation status in situ is highly desirable and can be of great benefit to stem cell-based therapies. Toward this end, nanotechnology has been applied to develop highly-sensitive biosensors to noninvasively monitor the neural differentiation of stem cells. Herein, this article reviews the development of noninvasive nano-biosensor systems to monitor the neural differentiation of stem cells, mainly focusing on optical (plasmonic) and eletrochemical methods. The findings in this review suggest that novel nano-biosensors capable of monitoring stem cell differentiation are a promising type of technology that can accelerate the development of stem cell therapies, including regenerative medicine. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Modified Nanoemulsions with Iron Oxide for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 223; doi:10.3390/nano6120223 -
Abstract
A nanoemulsion (NE) is a surfactant-based, oil-in-water, nanoscale, high-energy emulsion with a mean droplet diameter of 400–600 nm. When mixed with antigen and applied nasally, a NE acts as a mucosal adjuvant and induces mucosal immune responses. One possible mechanism for the adjuvant
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A nanoemulsion (NE) is a surfactant-based, oil-in-water, nanoscale, high-energy emulsion with a mean droplet diameter of 400–600 nm. When mixed with antigen and applied nasally, a NE acts as a mucosal adjuvant and induces mucosal immune responses. One possible mechanism for the adjuvant effect of this material is that it augments antigen uptake and distribution to lymphoid tissues, where the immune response is generated. Biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles have been used as a unique imaging approach to study the dynamics of cells or molecular migration. To study the uptake of NEs and track them in vivo, iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesized and dispersed in soybean oil to make iron oxide-modified NEs. Our results show that iron oxide nanoparticles can be stabilized in the oil phase of the nanoemulsion at a concentration of 30 µg/μL and the iron oxide-modified NEs have a mean diameter of 521 nm. In vitro experiments demonstrated that iron oxide-modified NEs can affect uptake by TC-1 cells (a murine epithelial cell line) and reduce the intensity of magnetic resonance (MR) images by shortening the T2 time. Most importantly, in vivo studies demonstrated that iron oxide-modified NE could be detected in mouse nasal septum by both transmission electron microscopy and MR imaging. Altogether these experiments demonstrate that iron oxide-modified NE is a unique tool that can be used to study uptake and distribution of NEs after nasal application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Shape and Charge of Gold Nanomaterials Influence Survivorship, Oxidative Stress and Moulting of Daphnia magna
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(12), 222; doi:10.3390/nano6120222 -
Abstract
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials with at least one dimension between 1–100 nm. The small size of ENMs results in a large surface area to volume ratio, giving ENMs novel characteristics that are not traditionally exhibited by larger bulk materials. Coupled with large
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Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are materials with at least one dimension between 1–100 nm. The small size of ENMs results in a large surface area to volume ratio, giving ENMs novel characteristics that are not traditionally exhibited by larger bulk materials. Coupled with large surface area is an enormous capacity for surface functionalization of ENMs, e.g., with different ligands or surface changes, leading to an almost infinite array of variability of ENMs. Here we explore the effects of various shaped (spheres, rods) and charged (negative, positive) gold ENMs on Daphnia magna (D. magna) in terms of survival, ENM uptake and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a key factor in oxidative stress responses. We also investigate the effects of gold ENMs binding to the carapace of D. magna and how this may induce moulting inhibition in addition to toxicity and stress. The findings suggest that ENM shape and surface charge play an important role in determining ENM uptake and toxicity. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Exchange Bias Effects in Iron Oxide-Based Nanoparticle Systems
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 221; doi:10.3390/nano6110221 -
Abstract
The exploration of exchange bias (EB) on the nanoscale provides a novel approach to improving the anisotropic properties of magnetic nanoparticles for prospective applications in nanospintronics and nanomedicine. However, the physical origin of EB is not fully understood. Recent advances in chemical synthesis
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The exploration of exchange bias (EB) on the nanoscale provides a novel approach to improving the anisotropic properties of magnetic nanoparticles for prospective applications in nanospintronics and nanomedicine. However, the physical origin of EB is not fully understood. Recent advances in chemical synthesis provide a unique opportunity to explore EB in a variety of iron oxide-based nanostructures ranging from core/shell to hollow and hybrid composite nanoparticles. Experimental and atomistic Monte Carlo studies have shed light on the roles of interface and surface spins in these nanosystems. This review paper aims to provide a thorough understanding of the EB and related phenomena in iron oxide-based nanoparticle systems, knowledge of which is essential to tune the anisotropic magnetic properties of exchange-coupled nanoparticle systems for potential applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Synthesis of Polypyrrole, Reduced Graphene Oxide, and Gold Nanoparticles Composite and Its Application to Hydrogen Peroxide Biosensor
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 220; doi:10.3390/nano6110220 -
Abstract
Here we report a facile eco-friendly one-step electrochemical approach for the fabrication of a polypyrrole (PPy), reduced graphene oxide (RGO), and gold nanoparticles (nanoAu) biocomposite on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The electrochemical behaviors of PPy–RGO–nanoAu and its application to electrochemical detection of
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Here we report a facile eco-friendly one-step electrochemical approach for the fabrication of a polypyrrole (PPy), reduced graphene oxide (RGO), and gold nanoparticles (nanoAu) biocomposite on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The electrochemical behaviors of PPy–RGO–nanoAu and its application to electrochemical detection of hydrogen peroxide were investigated by cyclic voltammetry. Graphene oxide and pyrrole monomer were first mixed and casted on the surface of a cleaned GCE. After an electrochemical processing consisting of the electrooxidation of pyrrole monomer and simultaneous electroreduction of graphene oxide and auric ions (Au3+) in aqueous solution, a PPy–RGO–nanoAu biocomposite was synthesized on GCE. Each component of PPy–RGO–nanoAu is electroactive without non-electroactive substance. The obtained PPy–RGO–nanoAu/GCE exhibited high electrocatalytic activity toward hydrogen peroxide, which allows the detection of hydrogen peroxide at a negative potential of about −0.62 V vs. SCE. The amperometric responses of the biosensor displayed a sensitivity of 40 µA/mM, a linear range of 32 µM–2 mM, and a detection limit of 2.7 µM (signal-to-noise ratio = 3) with good stability and acceptable reproducibility and selectivity. The results clearly demonstrate the potential of the as-prepared PPy–RGO–nanoAu biocomposite for use as a highly electroactive matrix for an amperometric biosensor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Facile Method to In-Situ Synthesize Porous Ni2GeO4 Nano-Sheets on Nickel Foam as Advanced Anode Electrodes for Li-Ion Batteries
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 218; doi:10.3390/nano6110218 -
Abstract
A strategy for growth of porous Ni2GeO4 nanosheets on conductive nickel (Ni) foam with robust adhesion as a high-performance electrode for Li-ion batteries is proposed and realized, through a facile two-step method. It involves the low temperature hydro-thermal synthesis of
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A strategy for growth of porous Ni2GeO4 nanosheets on conductive nickel (Ni) foam with robust adhesion as a high-performance electrode for Li-ion batteries is proposed and realized, through a facile two-step method. It involves the low temperature hydro-thermal synthesis of bimetallic (Ni, Ge) hydroxide nanosheets precursor on Ni foam substrates and subsequent thermal transformation to porous Ni2GeO4 nanosheets. The as-prepared Ni2GeO4 nanosheets possess many interparticle mesopores with a size range from 5 to 15 nm. The hierarchical structure of porous Ni2GeO4 nanosheets supported by Ni foam promises fast electron and ion transport, large electroactive surface area, and excellent structural stability. The efficacy of the specially designed structure is demonstrated by the superior electrochemical performance of the generated Ni2GeO4 nanosheets including a high capacity of 1.8 mA·h·cm−2 at a current density of 50 μA·cm−2, good cycle stability, and high power capability at room temperature. Because of simple conditions, this fabrication strategy may be easily extended to other mixed metal oxides (MxGeOy). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dispersion State of Tangled Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Affects Their Cytotoxicity
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 219; doi:10.3390/nano6110219 -
Abstract
The medical applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have garnered much attention. However, evaluating the safety of CNTs remains difficult, and no consensus has been reached. Moreover, assessing the biosafety of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs), which can become tangled during manufacturing, is challenging because they
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The medical applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have garnered much attention. However, evaluating the safety of CNTs remains difficult, and no consensus has been reached. Moreover, assessing the biosafety of multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs), which can become tangled during manufacturing, is challenging because they do not readily disperse. We studied how the dispersion state of tangled MWCNTs affects their cytotoxicity, using three sonicators. Flotube 9110 (FT9110), tangled MWCNTs, were dispersed in two dispersants (fetal bovine serum and polysorbate 80) using a new type of sonicator (PR-1) and two conventional sonicators. The size and cytotoxicity of the dispersed FT9110 were measured using the BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cell line. The PR-1 dispersed the FT9110 to agglomerates <200 nm in diameter; FT9110 dispersed with the PR-1 did not show cytotoxicity regardless of dispersant. The other sonicators dispersed the FT9110 to particles >1000 nm in diameter, and cytotoxicity depended on the dispersant. We found that excluding cells adhered to agglomerated FT9110 before evaluating cytotoxicity can lead to false-positive results. The PR-1 sonicator dispersed tangled FT9110 to many single fibers, which showed lower cytotoxicity than conventionally-sonicated MWCNTs. We suggest that dispersion state should be accounted for when evaluating the cytotoxicity of MWCNTs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Targeted Nanoprobe Based on Carbon Nanotubes-Natural Biopolymer Chitosan Composites
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 216; doi:10.3390/nano6110216 -
Abstract
A novel targeting theranostic nanoprobe based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)-natural biopolymer chitosan composites was developed for cancer cell targeting imaging and fluorescence imaging-guided photodynamic therapy. First, chitosan was respectively conjugated with a tumor-homing molecule folic acid, or a photosensitizing drug pyropheophorbide a
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A novel targeting theranostic nanoprobe based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)-natural biopolymer chitosan composites was developed for cancer cell targeting imaging and fluorescence imaging-guided photodynamic therapy. First, chitosan was respectively conjugated with a tumor-homing molecule folic acid, or a photosensitizing drug pyropheophorbide a using a water-soluble carbodiimide coupling chemistry. Chitosan was fluorescently labeled by fluorescein isothiocyanate via the covalently linkage of the isothiocyanate group with the amino group. Second, SWCNTs were sonicated in the functional chitosan aqueous solution for 6 h at room temperature in order to obtain the nanoprobe (PPa/FITC-SWCNT-FA). The as-prepared nanoprobe has been characterized with transmission electron microscope, confocal microscopy, and cell cytotoxicity tests. Chitosan was decorated onto SWCNTs resulting in the water-dispersible PPa/FITC-SWCNT-FA, and can be selectively transported inside folate receptor-positive tumor cell with good targeting imaging. PPa/FITC-SWCNT-FA exhibited low dark toxicity about 7%–13%, and high phototoxicity about 60%–74% against HeLa cells upon a 635 nm laser irradiation, indicating satisfying biocompatibility and antitumor activity. These results suggest the study could offer a feasible alternative to presently available nanoparticle-based theranostic agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrostatic Self-Assembly of Diamond Nanoparticles onto Al- and N-Polar Sputtered Aluminum Nitride Surfaces
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 217; doi:10.3390/nano6110217 -
Abstract
Electrostatic self-assembly of diamond nanoparticles (DNPs) onto substrate surfaces (so-called nanodiamond seeding) is a notable technique, enabling chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of nanocrystalline diamond thin films on non-diamond substrates. In this study, we examine this technique onto differently polarized (either Al- or N-polar)
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Electrostatic self-assembly of diamond nanoparticles (DNPs) onto substrate surfaces (so-called nanodiamond seeding) is a notable technique, enabling chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of nanocrystalline diamond thin films on non-diamond substrates. In this study, we examine this technique onto differently polarized (either Al- or N-polar) c-axis oriented sputtered aluminum nitride (AlN) film surfaces. This investigation shows that Al-polar films, as compared to N-polar ones, obtain DNPs with higher density and more homogeneously on their surfaces. The origin of these differences in density and homogeneity is discussed based on the hydrolysis behavior of AlN surfaces in aqueous suspensions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photoelectrochemical Performance Observed in Mn-Doped BiFeO3 Heterostructured Thin Films
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 215; doi:10.3390/nano6110215 -
Abstract
Pure BiFeO3 and heterostructured BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 (5% Mn-doped BiFeO3) thin films have been prepared by a chemical deposition method. The band structures and photosensitive properties of these films have been investigated elaborately. Pure BiFeO
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Pure BiFeO3 and heterostructured BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 (5% Mn-doped BiFeO3) thin films have been prepared by a chemical deposition method. The band structures and photosensitive properties of these films have been investigated elaborately. Pure BiFeO3 films showed stable and strong response to photo illumination (open circuit potential kept −0.18 V, short circuit photocurrent density was −0.023 mA·cm−2). By Mn doping, the energy band positions shifted, resulting in a smaller band gap of BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 layer and an internal field being built in the BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 interface. BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 and BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 thin films demonstrated poor photo activity compared with pure BiFeO3 films, which can be explained by the fact that Mn doping brought in a large amount of defects in the BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 layers, causing higher carrier combination and correspondingly suppressing the photo response, and this negative influence was more considerable than the positive effects provided by the band modulation. Full article
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